540 AVIATION OFFERS JUBA FARE VIA NAIROBI
At a cost of US Dollars 398, terms and conditions apply, for a return flight has Fly 540 now gone into direct competition with Air Uganda for passengers to South Sudan’s capital Juba. Initial feedback has it that a number of passengers are ready to fly the slightly longer distance via Nairobi, as it permits them to catch two flies in a stroke, combining a business or private visit in Nairobi with their final destination of Juba.
Fly 540 is using their CRJ aircraft on both sectors while Air Uganda, which flies nonstop from Entebbe, uses both their CRJ and as demand increases their remaining MD87.
Special fares on the route are now expected to counter this latest competitive twist in the East African skies, where in particular Kenya Airways has made headway in carving out greater market shares on the Kenya domestic but also the regional market. The current tourist low season has not yet seen any significant reduction in capacity for instance between Nairobi and Mombasa / Malindi leaving aviation observers wondering when a major realignment of capacity and prices will be sprung on the market.
Watch this space for regular aviation updates from Eastern Africa.
MARRIOT KIGALI TO HAVE OVER 250 ROOMS
The visit of the Marriott delegation to Kigali, where they inspected the progress of the ongoing construction, has also brought clarity about the size of the new luxury city hotel. Mr. Billy Cheung, who let the delegation, spoke on Monday to the media and announced that the critical room shortage in Kigali’s capital will be bridged when the 254 room and suite Marriot Kigali opens its doors next year. The hotel is expected to be opened in Q3 or Q4 of 2012, depending of progress of work and in particular the interior finish which will create the hallmarks of a Marriot Hotel like seen elsewhere in the world. Mr. Cheung also mentioned that this is the first of such projects by Marriot in sub Saharan Africa and will probably be a yardstick for further expansion and investments in Africa as a whole.
While in Kigali the group met with relevant government officials and sections of the business community to discuss the progress of the project, issues of sourcing materials and their importation to Rwanda but also future cooperation and to establish early ties with key stakeholders in the Rwandan economy.
SOURCE OF THE NILE GETS BREWERY SUPPORT
The Municipal Council of Jinja and Port Bell based Uganda Breweries have yesterday put pen to paper, signing a 5 year support deal under which the Diageo owned brewers will invest as much as 2.5 billion Uganda Shillings in the site.
Already now are Uganda Breweries signboards evident, as the company had in the past secured the advertising deal and face lifted the site on several occasions, but the latest Memorandum of Understanding is clearly a much more comprehensive deal and more lucrative for the municipality and the ‘Source of the Nile’ site itself.
Notably the site is also known for the place where some of Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in the river and a memorial was opened a few years ago by the Indian Prime Minister in recognition of Gandhi’s peace efforts, for India and for Africa.
In the old days the ‘source’ was actually marked by the Rippon Falls, where Lake Victoria’s waters took their first step in the long journey to the Mediterranean Sea, but the building of the Owens Falls dam in the 1950’s submerged the falls as water levels behind the dam started to rise, now only showing rocky outcrops and the fast running waters swirling around them.
The Source of the Nile is a major tourist attraction in Jinja and also brings many Ugandans from all over the country to the site over the weekends and in particular on public holidays. The site is surrounded by the Jinja Golf Club’s course, offering more options for visitors right next door while below the Owen Falls dam river activities like rafting, bungee jumping, quad biking and much more earned Jinja the title ‘Adventure Capital of East Africa’.